Often, when we’re planning a renovation, hallways aren’t given much thought. The spotlight is usually centred on the living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. While you might not spend much time in your hallway, they often serve as entrance points or connecting spaces, meaning that they make first impressions.
We asked professional interior designers what makes a great hallway, so that you can ensure you make a good first impression in your home. Here are # features to focus on when putting your hallway together:
In a narrow hallway, you don’t want anything too dark on the walls. Dark colours can ground a space, so in a wider hallway, a dark feature wall can work well. But, according to interior designer Adam Watson of Hollywood Mirrors, “if your hallway is small or narrow, you want to paint the walls a bright, neutral colour, such as white or magnolia. This makes the space appear bigger than it is. You can also add a large mirror to reflect light, again making the hallway brighter and larger.”
In a narrow hallway, Watson suggests sticking to spotlights that produce bright white light, as pendants and chandeliers can detract from a small space and cast unwanted shadows. In a wider hallway, however, a dramatic statement light could work, adding an element of glamour and character.
In addition, a stand-alone floor lamp, table lamp or large candle can add a lovely glow to your hallway. A wall light shining down on pieces of art such as scattered paintings or photographs can add a sophisticated gallery-like aura that is just lovely with almost any style of hallway.
In terms of hallway flooring, Watson says “A finely striped carpet or wooden floor running along the length of the hallway can make the hallway appear larger. Avoid horizontally placed floor boards as this will do the exact opposite.”
Whether you’re an avid art collector, or just know that a pop of colour can spice up a blank wall, there are a few things to think about before committing to that final hallway piece. Courtney Younie, owner and director of Allure Property Styling suggests using large pieces of art in narrow hallways to help make the space look clutter-free.
Younie also recommends adding landscape-shaped mirrors that reflect the rooms off the hallway (but not the front door) to help give the illusion of space and invite more light into the area. She advises it’s better to keep mirrors and artwork at eye level, so that they’re not too high or too low.
“When it comes to closed spaces like hallways,” Younie explains, “it’s really important that whatever you use to furnish it is balanced against the space, so proportions are extremely important.”
Narrow spaces should not scare you away from furniture; you just have to know how to pick the right pieces. First off, the furniture choices should be functional, longer rather than wide, and kept to a minimum. Good furniture choices include:
- A, long, narrow table; good choice for storage
- A small chair or stool; helpful for putting on shoes before you head out
- A long, plain rug (neutral colours and minimal patterns) in a larger hallway
- Slim, vertical shelves for decoration
Ensure that your furnishings are durable as hallways are high traffic areas in the home.
6. Storage and ornaments
You really can make the most of hallways by including sneaky storage solutions that look great too.
When you walk in the door or head out, you’ll need somewhere for your coat or jacket. Hooks and hangers that match your hallway’s style are super handy. Rather than tossing your coat and bag on the lounge, have a go-to place to store them.
Not only will your home look more presentable, but you’ll keep your clothing and accessories in tip-top condition as well.
You can also place a few pairs of shoes under your hallway table, or invest in a small shoe rack to keep your shoes in order.
Lastly, keep ornaments to a minimum to avoid making your hallway look cluttered. You also want to focus on the practical elements of your hallway—after all it’s a functional space. Let your wall art and furniture do most of the talking. Ornaments that make nice additions to any hallway include candles, lamps and greenery.